Quaker Universalist Conversations

“The Inner World Has No Seducers, and No Seduced”

Jonathan Ferguson is a freelance journalist, satirist, poet and author. He writes: “I help Brian K. White edit the long-running satire site Glossy News. See my Medium, Twitter and Facebook. If you find my work of interest, you can sponsor me on Patreon, or buy my books at Amazon and many other retailers. My life has been short up to now, but my art is increasingly long….”

See Jonathan’s earlier posts: “What is The Lesser Good?” and “The Jester’s Net I Gave Me.”

One of the most commonly misunderstood parables is the marriage of the man with six brothers: Luke 20: 27-38 (Douay-Rheims Bible, 1899, American Edition):

27 And there came to him some of the Sadducees, who deny that there is any resurrection, and they asked him, 28 saying: Master, Moses wrote unto us, If any man’s brother die, having a wife, and he leave no children, that his brother should take her to wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. 29 There were therefore seven brethren: and the first took a wife, and died without children. 30 And the next took her to wife, and he also died childless. 31 And the third took her. And in like manner all the seven, and they left no children, and died. 32 Last of all the woman died also. 33 In the resurrection therefore, whose wife of them shall she be? For all the seven had her to wife.

34 And Jesus said to them: The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: 35 But they that shall be accounted worthy of that world, and of the resurrection from the dead, shall neither be married, nor take wives. 36 Neither can they die any more: for they are equal to the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection. 37 Now that the dead rise again, Moses also shewed, at the bush, when he called the Lord, The God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; 38 for he is not the God of the dead, but of the living: for all live to him.

The Inner World Has No Seducers, and No Seduced

"Women grieving," by Wissam Nassar

“Whose wife will she be in paradise?”

The over-literal Pharisees and Sadducees thought this was all about the afterlife alone.

But at bottom, what ‘neither marrying nor being given in marriage’ really meant was that in the inner life, the inner world, which is greater and freer and more boundless-wondrous than this inner one, there are no masters and no slaves, no tyrants and no serfs.

Everyone has their own integrity, and their own liberty of spirit… their own ‘courage to be.’

Whatever may occur in the outer world of fallenness and brokenness and frailty, there will be no wife-beating in the inner world.

There are no men looking down in horror at the work their own hands have wrought.

And no woman helplessly raising her slender palms to the rain of blows.

Nor are there men lamenting their harsh words, or women grieving the heartlessness of the man she once loved.

There are no seducers and rakes.

No once-beloved one weeping for her betrayal.

No ever-beloved one reaching for a rope, as they cannot bear the shame of their own duplicity and corruption and dishonesty any longer.

The day of resurrection is the day you can finally say:

I myself am of the living, and dare not dwell among the tombs for a single hour more.
I will not bawl and weep and cut myself with stones of impenitent despair.
For I am free.

Everything on the outside seems to be division and alienation and grief and loss; and no harmonious and perfect unity can ever be engineered, out here.

But on the inside, we are granted peace and a certain oneness of the heart.

As deep calls out to deep.

Psalm 42:7

Image Sources

Women grieving,” by Wissam Nassar (see also https://www.facebook.com/wissamnassargaza/ and https://www.instagram.com/wissamgaza/).

Deep calls out to deep” (Psalm 42:7), Abarim Publications Bible Commentary.


Jonathan, You adopt or affirm the Luke 20 view of the individual person as the unit of death and beyond. This individualism is understandable. However, how do we deal with that individual as a community of cells associated with essential bacteria in the human body for life as increasingly indicated by science. Is it a more modern and correct view that the individual is, in reality, a community? Then, at death, death may be the start of a process of dissociation of constituent elements of that community. This may be a mitigation of our over firm understanding of the individual person. I would appreciate your view. Larry
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